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Help With Chutney Recipe

I would add a cup of water to start with. Chutney is more of a sauce than a relish. You can cook it down to the desired consistency, but remember it will thicken as it cools.

Feb 24, 2015
elegraph in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #349 - the Sub-Zero-For-Some Edition [Old]

That's actual temperature, Fahrenheit, not the wind chill. Wind chill doesn't matter unless you're outside with exposed skin, which any fool can avoid with a little forethought.

BTW, Did you know that 40 below is 40 below... on both F. and C. scales? I know because it has reached that temp here more than once. And last winter it killed both my hearty grapes and shrub roses. Not many plants can survive cold beyond that.

Feb 20, 2015
elegraph in Home Cooking
1

Baking a quiche

I do par-bake the crust 7-8 minutes before adding the filling. It seems to prevent a soggy crust.

That said, I would use a standard pie plate and save the tart pan for tarts and cheesecakes. The reason is, I always cook egg dishes in a water bath to ensure even cooking.

My standard quiche base is 9 eggs to 1 c. milk/cream. Add plenty of seasoning: dried mustard, salt and pepper are basic. You can add any combination of meat and vegetables to this base; sprinkle them in the shell then pour in the eggs.

The quiche is done when a table knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Feb 19, 2015
elegraph in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #349 - the Sub-Zero-For-Some Edition [Old]

It's a vegan day for us so tonight we have home-made French bread (with margarine or olive oil), pickled red cabbage and apples, and home-made minestrone. Also a nice fire going in the living room to shake off that -33 degrees we had last night.

ISO Reference Cookbook(s) - Good and Bad?

The Betty Crocker basic red cookbook comes to mind because there are a lot of step-by-step illustrations, and variations on a basic recipe are often given. I see the 11th edition includes a chapter on seasonings and the hype mentions it has "hundreds of new recipes that are faster, healthier and with many more flavors." It sounds like something you both would like. Here is a link:

http://www.bettycrocker.com/Home/The-...

(I am not associated with any cookbook publishers, BTW>

I think the seasonings you might use depend a lot on the flavor profile you are trying to achieve: Mexican, French, Indian, etc. For these times I rely on my ethnic cookbooks for what spices to use.

Feb 19, 2015
elegraph in Home Cooking

Cleaning Waffle Irons

Supposedly (I haven't tried it personally) you can get that brown residue off your baking sheets with a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. I HAVE used that paste to clean tile grout and it works very well on that. Just rinse well with warm water and dry with a cloth.

Feb 19, 2015
elegraph in Cookware

February 2015 Cookbook of the Month Companion Thread: "MIGHTY SPICE EXPRESS COOKBOOK" by John Gregory-Smith

I did create a spreadsheet for this. One worksheet is for recipes I've tried and liked well enough to repeat. One worksheet is for recipes I've tried and would not make again. Third worksheet is for ideas I run across and would like to try but after I buy the ingredients I can't find the recipe.

In each spreadsheet I list the entree, bread, carb side dish, veg side dish, recipe source, items for shopping list, and notes on preparation. I don't rotate these entrees but this gives me an idea list when I'm making out my shopping list, and good dishes don't get forgotten.

This also helps me quickly locate a recipe I want to try or repeat. Especially helpful with having a sizeable cookbook and magazine collection.

Feb 17, 2015
elegraph in Home Cooking

Help doctoring "crab casserole" leftovers

I would cut the richness by thinning the mixture with some seafood stock, white wine or sherry. Turn it into a sauce and serve it over pasta, rice, savory crepes, omelets, eggs benedict, or whatever. Or, of course, you could just finish eating it as a dip.

Feb 17, 2015
elegraph in Home Cooking

Outdoor grill installed in kitchen?

I just ordered a cast iron grill pan. I would welcome any suggestions for cooking with it. No doubt husband will ask why I bought it ... well, because, of course.

Restaurant info needed

The hoods required in restaurant kitchens are for fire suppression, specifically grease fires, so an electric stove shouldn't make a difference. First, find out what your state and local codes require; your local fire marshall or food safety inspector can advise you. Also find out what your insurance company requires.

Feb 10, 2015
elegraph in Cookware

Should I buy a food processor or a blender and mandolin?

The blender is most useful for special drinks. You can do everything else in the food processor. You don't need special spice grinders or coffee grinders because you can clean the bowl in soapy water, unlike the grinders, which retain the oils. Also, the food processor is much safer than a mandolin.

Feb 10, 2015
elegraph in Cookware

"Two tops", four tops", tricerotops?

This is in-house communication between the wait staff and the kitchen. As in, "I have a 12-top coming back," meaning the server is about to bring back an order for a table of 12. No need to use it when reserving tables.

Feb 01, 2015
elegraph in Not About Food

"Two tops", four tops", tricerotops?

What's wrong with, "Excuse me" as you push your way through the crowd?

Feb 01, 2015
elegraph in Not About Food

Looking for a chicken recipe

Found a recipe on Kraft.com for Pork Adobado with a white sauce you could use for chicken:

http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/p...

If it had tomatillos in the sauce, it may have been similar to Enchiladas Suizas:
http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...

You are correct that most adobado sauces are red, and they are generally served with pork, but between these 2 recipes you might be able to create a delicious white sauce.

Feb 01, 2015
elegraph in Home Cooking

was I sold wet scallops?

I agree with other posters that you probably bought scallops treated with STP. Did you save the packaging? It should have been listed as an ingredient. The other possibility is that they weren't scallops at all but "punched" out of some fish, probably shark, which will result in noticeable shrinkage. Either way I would discuss this with the store manager as it sounds like you have been ripped off, and probably not by the store. They need to be alerted to these dishonest practices.

Feb 01, 2015
elegraph in General Topics

What cooking gadgets changed your life?... Well at least your cooking?

I seldom use my big immersion blender, but I have a tiny stick blender that gets used almost every day. It fits nicely into a single cup or glass and mixes instant teas, hot chocolate, soup, etc. for single servings. Great for keeping spouse and grandkids out of my hair while I make dinner.

Jan 27, 2015
elegraph in Cookware

Sides for Jambalaya and other dinner guest advice...

Relax and keep it simple. Entertaining isn't so much about the food as it is making your guests feel welcome and comfortable in your home. If you are relaxed it will put them at ease. If something goes wrong, laugh it off and move on. Do serve a dessert (even if it isn't entirely home-made) and coffee. Let the evening come to a natural end. Take a deep breath and plan to do it again soon.

Jan 24, 2015
elegraph in Home Cooking

Fellow Diner, You Want to do WHAT to My Table?!

Unbelievable! Rudeness knows no bounds. Good for you for objecting!

Coconut Milk Ice cream Hardness Help!

Agree! Keep it simple. Coconut milk adds a delightful creaminess to a basic vanilla ice cream recipe. Forget the additives.

Jan 17, 2015
elegraph in Home Cooking
1

Buffet - Quantity Planning

Your menu sounds great! However, you have 3 main dishes plus the red beans and rice and maque choux. How about a Mardi Gras colored cole slaw (made with white and purple cabbage and shredded carrots)?

I would plan on 35-40 guests attending, and 1 11x15" pan of each, or about 20 servings of each, plus the sandwiches. People eat less than you expect them to and none of these dishes will freeze well if left over.

Let us know how it turns out.

Jan 17, 2015
elegraph in General Topics

Meatless Meals

Spinach and artichoke lasagna
Linguine with fresh veggies and a cheesy cream sauce
Curried lentil soup with a green salad and roti
Chickpea ratatouille over brown rice
Minestrone (soup with pasta and beans)
Pasta (like farfalle) with spicy tomatoes and black beans
Black bean quesadillas
Vegetable quiche
Vegetable lo mein and basmati rice
Baked beans and cornbread with a green salad
Spaghetti and marinara sauce with garlic toast
Classic spaghetti carbonara

Jan 15, 2015
elegraph in Home Cooking

A restarutant trend that should die in 2015:

As a restaurant owner I can tell you there are several possible reasons for a so-called secret menu. Chances are good that the chef hates preparing that particular item but will bow to a customer request if the ingredients are on hand. Chances are equally good that the markup on the secret item isn't enough to be profitable and the chef doesn't think upping the price will improve sales.

Then, too, in this age of social media, food trucks, etc., some restaurants offer a secret special for a limited time as a marketing gimmick. Everyone likes to be in on the secret, right? And it's entirely possible the chef is trying out a potential new menu item and wants to gauge customer response before ramping up production for the general public.

We have several items that have been removed from the menu which a few customers still ask for. (Not enough to justify the menu space.) If we have the ingredients on hand we will serve that item to anyone who asks.

FYI: Our kitchen staff is slightly offended when customers order something not on the menu or a special variation on something that is. "We have a 6-page menu, can't they find something they like the way we serve it?" Good question.

Jan 08, 2015
elegraph in Not About Food
1

How do you pronounce 'bruschetta'?

We've had more than one president who said "nuke-you-ler."

Jan 06, 2015
elegraph in Not About Food

Your kitchen in a word (or two, or three...)

When my 4 kids were still at home, I wish I'd had a sign that said:
"You have two choices for dinner tonight. Take it or leave it." That was pretty much my policy. Doesn't seem to have harmed any of them.

Jan 06, 2015
elegraph in Not About Food

Your kitchen in a word (or two, or three...)

Here in Wisconsin we say, "It's Noon somewhere!"

Jan 06, 2015
elegraph in Not About Food

Your kitchen in a word (or two, or three...)

This is a self-cleaning kitchen.
You clean it yourself.

Eggs all Taste The Same to Me

Our family owns a small restaurant and we, too, cook a lot of eggs. Double yolks aren't at all uncommon in our commercially produced eggs. The color of the yolks is determined primarily by the feed; local organic egg producers add marigold flowers to the feed to produce nice, orange yolks. There is little difference in taste or nutrition.

Jan 02, 2015
elegraph in General Topics

Corkage fee at retail shop/winebar

As a small independent restaurant owner I think this practice is egregious. Liquor laws vary by state, but we allow patrons to bring their own bottles of wine for dinner and charge a small corkage fee for dispensing it. (The nominal fee is intended to cover the nominal cost of providing clean glasses.) We offer wine for sale by the glass or by the bottle and we do not charge a fee for dispensing the bottles customers purchase from us. We are also allowed to send opened bottles home with them if we re-cork them and supply a receipt for their purchase, again at no extra charge. Personally, I wouldn't patronize a wine bar with a corkage fee.

Jan 02, 2015
elegraph in Wine

How do you pronounce your foreign food phrases?

I do the best I can to pronounce foreign menu items correctly and if I don't know how, I will ask. But I hate-hate-HATE to be corrected by the server. Ex. #1, I ordered "broosketta" and was told to pronounce it "brushetta". According to my research, either is "correct" as it is pronounced one way in the north of Italy and the other way in the south. Ex. #2 I ordered Potatoes Lyonnaise and was corrected by the server who pronounced it "Lion-aise." For once in my life I was speechless. I can accept correction, but you damn well better be right when you do it.

What do you not order in restaurants...

I avoid anything I suspect is purchased frozen from the vendor and reheated to order. I once ordered Chicken Kiev in a steakhouse ... big mistake. Lesson learned.

I also avoid cooked carrots and wild rice sides because they never seem to be properly cooked. I seldom order mashed potatoes because I can make instant mashed potatoes at home if that's what I'm hungry for.

I wouldn't order meat loaf or pot roast because I cook them often enough at home.

I seldom order dessert, unless it's a house specialty prepared from scratch. That's getting harder to find with all the pre-prepared cheesecakes etc. available to restaurants. Very profitable if not exactly fresh.

Dec 22, 2014
elegraph in General Topics